I know this question is dangerously close to asking for legal advice, but for the record I'm not planning on making any actual decision based on this answer, I would be consulting with a lawyer if I did try to set up a non profit. All I'm looking for now is a basic sanity test to determine rather what I'm considering is potentially viable and worth putting time and effort into pursuing it further.
To give context I donate a significant percentage of my, fairly decent, income to charity. I also currently have a large nest egg of money, numerous factors including two separate inheritances and a large investment being repaid have left me with so much money this year that ironically I'm having trouble donating it all, I would only be able to get tax refund on a fraction of it, and since I already donate close to the maximum I can claim on taxes every year anyways even carrying those donations into future years could take well over a decade to claim all the tax savings.
I've instead been toying with the idea of buying a large rental property, one with multiple bedrooms I could rent out to individuals as an investment. I'd also likely stay in the smallest of the rooms myself, I'm too cheap to pay for a real home and at least if I own the rental property I can't get kicked out and forced to move again if a family needs their room back. Unfortunately the added rental income, which would be donated to charity, would likely again push me over the amount I can claim for charitable donations in my taxes.
So I was toying with the idea of buying a property but registering it as a non-profit so all the rental income is immediately untaxed, I'd then funnel the money the rental made to the charity I support (givewell.com, the most efficient way to save lives!). I'd presumably be paying a lawyer to set up the non-profit but that's a one time fee I can deal with. I'm more worried about what the logistical effort it would create for me to be maintaining a rental property as a non profit. I presume I'd have to keep my personal finances and the rental property finances separate, but is it as simple as having separate bank accounts or do I need to do more to prove I'm not profiting from the property? Would I still be able to live at the property as one of the renters, paying appropriate rent to the non-profit, or would that create a conflict of interest even if I was paying reasonable rental amounts?
To be frank I'm not the most organized and part of the reason I've put off buying property before is I didn't want to take on all the logistical hassle of being a landlord. If having a rental property registered as a non-profit adds too much additional overhead I may give up on both ideas and just stick to donating all the money to charity as I have been. So before I go digging too deep into the process can anyone give me a rough idea of what hassles I'd be taking on if I tried to go down this route?
Both I and the rental I would purchase would be located in Maryland, USA.